When I put together my training plan, it was great that on the days on my 13 mile runs, a number of half marathon runs fell on the same date. I always found this really helpful as it focused the mind on the run, and it meant you would run a quicker pace than a typical 13 mile training run, which had benefits in the long run.
This week’s half marathon was in Dervock, and the course was to be a bit hilly. This wasn’t a massive concern, as I knew my times were not going to be as good as earlier in the year and last year, where I consistently ran sub 1:30. However I was keen to try and run a good competitive time. My only concern the couple of days before was the weather.
Dervock is on the North Coast of Northern Ireland, and with the weather forecast was almost guaranteed a glorious day!
On Saturday morning, the sky was cloudy however you could feel the humidity building. By race time at 11am, the temperature was already hitting 21-23 degrees C, and was only going to get hotter. In the past couple of years I have ran both the Edinburgh and London Marathon in warm temperatures, however in each by the time 11am came, you were 2 hours in to the run!
The first 7 miles went ok, however by the end of mile 7 the temperature had risen quite a bit, and I was starting to feel the heat quite badly. A number of runners around me were starting to fade and take the foot of the peddle, and to be honest I thought the same. I purely focused on each mile and trying to keep each foot in front of the other. I will be honest, I number of time I thought about throwing the towel in, especially when I lifted two bottles of water from a water station at mile 8 and promptly threw both of the them round me to try and cool myself down.
I persevered and managed to make the finish in 1hr 37mins, which overall I am more than happy with especially given guys who usually run 1hr30 were running 1hr35, showing how much the weather was effecting everyone. This was the 7th half marathon in the half marathon series, and only 3 more to go. Next stop Cookstown in 2 weeks!